Armed with a diagnosis and a plan, my lil' family is moving. We came to the conclusion that it isn't safe for me to live so far into the mountains right now. The children and I need to be closer to doctors, teachers, friends & public transportation. So, we begin our new adventure in urban homesteading!! We are moving to Oakland.
I searched and searched and made inquiries and phone calls. I interviewed locals about neighborhoods and carefully scrutinized online crime maps. I found a neighborhood with rich history that is fast being cleaned up by the city. Still on the fringe, having chickens is not much of an issue and the idea that I might beautify that sparse backyard is enthusiastically welcomed. Looking at Google map photos and comparing them to the block's current state, I see that several houses have since exchanged zombie-like front yards for sweet flower gardens. One formerly empty lot now sports a dozen raised beds. The spirit of the land is being called up to give back the soul light of this far too long downtrodden neighborhood. I am forever an optimist, the artist seeing potential, but I did my homework on this one. (I also have an amazing partner who scouted out areas daily and gave some flat out "no"s to a few places I dug up on Craigslist.)
So here we go, the great task of extracting ourselves from Stone City and molding our lifestyle to the city landscape. Once we've settled in Oakland, I will change the blog name... Lil' Gypsy Home in the City? Maybe something different, so I don't sound like I am copying the Dervaes family... (Gasp! Not that!) Time to make a smaller and easily transportable city chicken coop with dog proof enclosed yard. Should be easier to make a coop suited for the 3 remaining hens than it was to make housing for a proposed 6. I actually already have plans drawn up. Thankfully my clever garden bed is easily dismantled for transport and the soil we just bought never made it out of the bags. Hmmm... anyone want a funky little cabover camper with black interior walls and door signage that promises that trespassers will have their heads shaved and their name changed to "Chicken-Butt"? It's free for the taking if you come pick it up yourself. ;)